Dale Carnegie


“If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.”

—Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie was born into poverty, but he made a millionaire of himself, along with scores of devotees through his writings, speaking engagements, and personal development classes. His start in life was that of a humble country boy, but his achievements would last far beyond his lifetime. Today, many of the world’s top business and political leaders, along with practically every salesperson who has ever lived, have all adopted his teachings to become more successful.

Location of Maryville in MissouriTHE EARLY YEARS

Dale Carnegie was born on November 24, 1888, and grew up in the small town of Maryville in the northwest corner of the state known for large farms and wide-open spaces. In fact, his family farm was so remote that he never even saw a train until he was almost a teenager.

The farm life was lonely, but it taught him a lesson about hard work that he never forgot: Sometimes you have to work long hours to get the job done. Even as a child, he was required to get up at 3:30 a.m. to start his chores. Life on a desolate farm wasn’t easy, but it provided him the finances to attend college in Warrensburg.


After attending the State Teacher’s College, now known as Central Missouri State University, he set off to become a salesman. His first job was selling correspondence classes to farmers who were unable to attend school, whether because of financial limitations or because they lived too far from a town where educational classes were offered. He moved on quickly to take the role of salesman for Armour and Company, selling household items like soap, bacon, and lard. He had such a knack for selling that he was soon the national leader in sales for the company.

Carnegie, however, didn’t stop with being just a top salesman. He went off to try to realize another dream: To become an actor. He traded in the job at Armour in order to move to New York City, where he did some acting and taught public speaking at a YMCA.  His classes drew large crowds, so he began to look for ways to capitalize on his success. His first step was to publish a book with tips on effective public speaking. Practical Course for Business Men was published in 1926, setting the path for his next career move that would make his name and techniques known all over the world.


His training in personality development and public speaking became very profitable.   He expanded his reach by touring the country, and teaching ways to improve sales and be more effective at speaking in any social situation. He again put these ideas into book form in 1936 with the release of How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book was an instant hit and has proven itself timeless, selling more than fifty million copies in nearly forty languages.

Carnegie followed that book in 1948 with How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.  His texts became standard reading material in many industries, and the founding of the Dale Carnegie Institute has insured that his techniques are still taught to business leaders today. Carnegie died in 1955, leaving behind a legacy both in the written word and in the institute classes that are now being taught by nearly three thousand instructors in more than sixty-five countries.


*Carnegie wrote a biography of Abraham Lincoln titled Lincoln the Unknown.

Famous Dale Carnegie quotes:

*“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain—and most fools do.”

*“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get
other people interested in you.”

*“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”

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